Sneaky Black Bean Soup

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Sneaky Gluten Free Black Bean SoupAs the Winter of Soups draws to a close, I wanted to try and squeeze at least one more soup in.  It was stormy and cold here today, which made this one an easy sell.  Actually, this is really a vegetable soup in disguise! If you’re struggling to get all those servings of veggies in, give this soup a go.  It’s jam packed with vegetables but still tastes like a black bean soup.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini squash, diced
  • 1/3 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Super Sweet Cut Corn
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Black Beans, drained
  • 32 oz. Trader Joe’s Organic Low Sodium Gluten- Free Chicken Broth
  • 3 slices Trader Joe’s Pepper Turkey Bacon, diced
  • 6 oz. Trader Joe’s Just Grilled Chicken Strips, diced
  • 1 corn tortilla, toasted
  • Diced green onions for garnish
  • 1 Dollop Trader Joe’s Simply Fat Free Sour Cream
  • 1 pinch Trader Giotto’s Quattro Formaggio
  • Johnny’s Seasoning Salt
  • Ground Cumin

Lots to Love

I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but this soup is flexible, you can exclude quite a few of these ingredients and still have a great tasting soup. Obviously, you have to keep the black beans and the chicken broth, but mix and match the rest if need be.  The first time I made this, I didn’t add the bacon or chicken, but on subsequent versions these 2 made their way in and I enjoy the texture and added protein!  I also started adding veggies, and when all is said and done, you get the benefits without really changing the taste.

A Slicing, Dicing Fool

Such a huge benefit to have a vegetable cleaver…it’s actually the Global Vegetable Cleaver.  I’m a huge fan of Global knives, I like the way the handles are dimpled and they seem supremely balanced.  When working in a wet-ish environment, the knives don’t slip the way a wooden or plastic handled knife does- this is a huge safety feature in my book!  The Japanese steel makes me feel like I’m using small Samurai swords to cut my food!

So the true start of this soup is cooking some bacon.  I almost always have bacon in the fridge.  I cook a whole package at a time and then we snack on it during the week.   The second start to cooking this soup is to heat some olive oil in the “French Oven” (Don’t know what a french oven is – click here) and start slicing and dicing those veggies!  I like to put the celery and carrot in first as they are structurally the hardest of the vegetables and need to cook for a bit longer.  Then I add the onions and zucchini and let it all cook until they are all softened up.  I like to season the vegetables with some Johnny’s as well.  Toss in the frozen corn, don’t bother to even defrost it.  At this point add the ground cumin.  Shani doesn’t think she likes the taste of cumin so I add it on the sly 😉

It’s Simmer Time!

What ever happened to M.C Hammer? Anyway, add the drained Trader Joe’s Cuban Style Black Beans and the chicken broth and simmer.  25 minutes or so should be fine.  I like to stir every once in a while.  Take the whole pot and pour it into the blender and blend until smooth. Or slightly chunky if that’s your style.  Pour it back into the “French Oven” and continue the simmer process. Then add the turkey bacon and the chicken and mix these two in.

The final ingredients are equal parts taste and presentation.  I ladle the soup into bowls, plop a dollop of sour cream in the middle and sprinkle with some cheese.  I cut the tortilla into strips – don’t forget to toast it first – and lay a few on top and then sprinkle with some of the green onion.

That’s it, tons of vegetables and a lot of protein plus good fiber.  Possibly the perfect soup?

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How do you sneak veggies into your life?  We’d love to hear your best recipes.

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